Category Archives: Staff news

ADRS launches 2018 United Way campaign with special event

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and United Way combined campaign kicked off Friday, Sept. 14, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. with a few new incentives. The special event, held in the State Office, featured food, fun, fellowship, and door prizes, along with presenters to explain how contributions to the United Way make a difference in the community. ADRS staffer

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Rehab engineering workshop under construction in Anniston

Construction is currently under way on a new rehabilitation engineering work and storage space for the Anniston area. The 864-square-foot workshop, which is being built behind the ADRS facility on Coleman Road in Anniston, will include a 24′ x 24′ workshop with work benches and a wash-out sink as well as a storage loft. The outside will feature water access

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Guide Dogs for the Blind staff offer glimpse of the ‘guide dog lifestyle’ (photo gallery)

Mark Gillard, certified O&M specialist with Guide Dogs for the Blind, explains the back-chaining and patterning methods to class participants

Staff from Guide Dogs for the Blind were in Alabama recently for a training and workshop for ADRS staff and consumers. The group’s stay began with a two-day training session for orientation and mobility specialists from ADRS and other entities, including the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, E.H. Gentry, and Birmingham-area school systems. Class topics included assessing a client’s

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33rd annual early intervention preschool conference a success

More than 500 professionals and parents attended the 33rd annual statewide Early Intervention and Preschool Conference in Huntsville Oct. 23-25. The 2 1/2 day conference offered more than 40 sessions, recommending practices for various early intervention and preschool services from birth to 5 years of age. Penny Foster, the parent of a child with Down syndrome who received services through

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Business Relations Administrator Peggy Anderson’s retirement reception (photo gallery + video)

Peggy Anderson is presented the VIP award from Lamona Lucas

Members of the Rehab Family gathered Sept. 29 to honor Business Relations Administrator Peggy Anderson for her more than 35 years of loyal service to Alabamians with disabilities. Friends, family, community partners, and colleagues as well as founding ADRS Commissioner Lamona Lucas gathered to celebrate Anderson’s many contributions as a passionate advocate for the creation of the department and a

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Leslie Dawson readies for Business Relations administrator role

With the Oct. 1 retirement of Statewide Business Relations Administrator Peggy Anderson, Leslie Dawson is preparing to fill some very big shoes. In August, ADRS Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw named Dawson to succeed Anderson as the department’s business relations administrator and a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). “I’m honored and humbled,” Dawson said about her new role. “Peggy

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Board holds quarterly meeting at ADRS Lakeshore (photo gallery + video)

Board members Eddie Williams and Jimmie Varnado speak with members of the Adaptive Driving Program team following the board meeting

The Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services held its recent quarterly meeting at the ADRS Lakeshore office. Paige Hebson, field supervisor at ADRS Lakeshore, spoke to the group about the services provided through her office. Also addressing the group was Beth Curry, who works at the nearby Lakeshore Foundation. Following the meeting, the board as well as members of the ADRS

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ADRS, Easter Seals open new Tuscaloosa facility (photo gallery + video)

Easter Seals West Alabama (ESWA) and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) recently hosted a ribbon-cutting celebration for their new state-of-the-art facility. The new building – located at 1400 James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway Drive East – features 56,000 square feet of office space and houses all four major ADRS programs – Alabama’s Early Intervention System, Children’s Rehabilitation Service,

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Floyd is ADRS’s new software development manager

ADRS Computer Services recently promoted a familiar face to be the department’s new software development manager. Beverly Floyd assumed her post, previously held by Clay Weaver, on March 16. “Right now, I’m really serving dual roles,” Floyd said, “Not only am I taking over for Clay, I’m also still wearing my project management hat. I’m busy, but it’s also exciting. I’ll be working

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ADRS staff re-locating to newly completed facility (photo gallery)

Earlier this week, the Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) and State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) offices in Tuscaloosa began moving to their new location at 1400 James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway E. When the move is complete, the 56,000-square-foot, three-story complex – owned and built by Easter Seals West Alabama – will house some 60 ADRS staff. The Tuscaloosa offices

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Business relations consultants gather for quarterly meeting (photo gallery)

Staff from the ADRS Business Relations Program held their quarterly meeting at Cheaha State Park earlier this week. The three-day retreat included sessions on important employment issues as well as updates on the RAVE program, business relations consultant specialty areas, and the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

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Muscle Shoals, Selma celebrate opening of new facilities (photo gallery)

  Last week, new ADRS facilities in Muscle Shoals and Selma opened their doors to the members of the community. At just over 5,000 square feet, the new home for CRS in the Shoals area offers more clinic space for families at one of the fastest-growing locations in the state. The 12,644-square-foot facility in downtown Selma – which houses the

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SAIL retreat focuses on team building (photo gallery)

The State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) program staff retreat kicked off yesterday at the Orange Beach Hilton Garden Inn. The three-day training is focusing on team building and pertinent topics of interest like the Personal Choices program. Staff were also asked to make a full accessibility assessment of a restaurant of their choosing to report to the group on Day 2.

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EI conference draws 500 to Montgomery (photo gallery)

Rachel Harrison interviews her son Wren about his little sister Anna Pruitt (nicknamed 'AP' by the family) as dad Brian listens in

Some 500 parents and early intervention and preschool professionals are gathering in Montgomery this week for the Early Intervention and Preschool Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Once Upon a Time … Everyone Has a Story.” The opening session for the two-and-a-half-day conference featured the Harrison family of Tuscaloosa, who shared their personal story about Anna Pruitt, their youngest

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Pre-ETS training updates transition counselors

With final regulations for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) released, transition counselors recnetly received the latest information on Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) through a series of trainings offered at five different locations throughout the state, said Rehabilitation Specialist III Karen Jenkins. “We visited our offices and informed staff about the the five required activities for PETS: job exploration

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Muscle Shoals office re-locates to new facility (photo gallery)

A shot of the exterior of the building, which features covered accessible parking

The Children’s Rehabilitation Service office and clinic in Muscle Shoals is in the process of moving to its new facility. The 5,000-square-foot building is newly renovated to include a spacious clinic, state-of-the-art audiology suite, and offices for the six-member staff. The office serves almost 400 children with special health care needs in the Muscle Shoals area. Staff will begin conducting

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New Tuscaloosa complex progressing on schedule (video, photo gallery)

A telehandler operator empties debris in a dumpster in front of the building is abuzz with activity

Work continues on schedule on the new office complex for the ADRS offices in Tuscaloosa. The facility, which is owned and being built by Easter Seals West Alabama, is on James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway East, near the current location of the Tuscaloosa office for Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) and State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL)/Homebound. The 56,000-square-foot complex will

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Montgomery, State Office CRS staff band together to help families get back to school

Montgomery CRS held a back-to-school drive in August and September to help area families start the school year off on the right foot. Several staff members in the Montgomery office “adopted” children in need by purchasing an individual child’s entire back-to-school shopping list. “I chose Moshope Arabi,” said CRS Speech-language Pathologist Program Specialist Sonia Cleckler. “She loved Disney’s ‘Frozen,’ so I tried to

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Jackson CRS community project to provide coats for kids

Parent Consultant Vivian Spears wants to ensure all kids have a warm coat this winter. As part of a community outreach, Jackson CRS will be offering free coats to the children and families they serve, and all ADRS staff are invited to donate. “When I was in the Tuscaloosa office, I held a coat drive after noticing several kids without jackets at the

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New software development process to improve efficiency, productivity

On Oct. 1, ADRS Computer Services will officially switch to a new software development methodology aimed to increase efficiency and productivity. The new approach – which is being implemented now through trials – is called “Scrum.” It is the best-known variant of several “agile” software development strategies. Agile software development is nimble and promotes adaptive planning, quick development, early delivery, and continuous improvement. Scrum encourages rapid and flexible

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Commissioner visits Muscle Shoals offices, Blind Services staff retreat (photo gallery)

Commissioner Burdeshaw speaks to the group at the Blind Services staff retreat

Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw visited the CRS and VRS offices in Muscle Shoals recently, introducing herself to and getting to know staff serving the northwest section of the state. While in the area, Burdeshaw also toured the new facility for Muscle Shoals CRS, which is currently being renovated. CRS staff are scheduled to re-locate to their new building Oct. 1. After leaving Muscle Shoals, Burdeshaw

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